Ironton must limit South Point numbers

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 30, 2005

It's a numbers game.

The South Point Pointers have a lot of numbers to throw at the Ironton Fighting Tigers when the two teams meet Friday at Tanks Memorial Stadium.

First of all, the Pointers are 1-0 after a convincing 21-6 win over Vinton County last week.

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Secondly, the Pointers have more returning starters this season than Ironton. South Point had eight offensive and seven defensive starters back.

Finally, the Pointers have some big offensive numbers in terms of yardage to throw at their opponents with a large number of offensive weapons.

"There's a lot of talk about their quarterback and he's a good one, but they have a lot of good skilled players who can run," Ironton coach Bob Lutz said. "They're not a one-man show. They spread the field and make you cover them."

The quarterback is junior Chris Smith who threw for more than 1,500 yards last season.

At his disposal on the receiving end are tight end Anthony Ross, flanker Jacob Orlando, split ends Jerrell Dean and Heath Bridges and slotback Rocky Roe.

The fullback is John Crager, a four-year starter, while Roe will shift to tailback.

'They're coming off a good win which is something that hasn't happened in the past few years. A win does a great deal for your confidence," Lutz said.

Ironton posted a come-from-behind 7-6 win over Wheelersburg on Saturday night. Lutz said playing a day later puts the Fighting Tigers at a disadvantage.

"We've got one less day to heal," Lutz said. "The other thing about winning a game like last week is the threat of a letdown the next week. We have to guard against being flat. If you're flat against this team, they'll zip right by you."

One area of improvement for the Pointers has been on defense. Last season, the Pointers allowed 47 points a game including a 57-6 loss to Ironton.

But last week the Pointers allowed an early score but shut down Vinton County's offense the rest of the game.

"They've got a nice middle linebacker (Justin Thacker) and a good secondary. They run to the ball pretty well," Lutz said.

South Point will head into the game without one of its key players. Two-way end Jeremiah Taylor is expected to miss this week's game but may return next week.

Also missing is guard Josh Hunt who suffered a broken leg and is lost for the season.

"They're a little banged up, but so are we," Lutz said. "We had some guys who sucked it up last week and played.

"The biggest things for us is to improve over last week. We made way too many mistakes and missed too many assignments. Hopefully getting a game under their belts will help us this week."